It may have taken a while for Grey's Anatomy to come back for Season 17, but once it did it was pretty focused on non-stop pandemic-based action and storytelling. Not only has one prominent character already lost a family member to our on-going health crisis, but both Tom Koracick and Meredith Grey have the virus, and are very ill. Fans still have a bit to wait until the series returns for the remaining Season 17 episodes, but now star Jesse Williams has hyped a "terrifying and exhilarating" return.
Grey's Anatomy has never been a stranger to emotional, wildly impactful storylines, with such plots coming along frequently in each season since the very beginning. But, with the decision to take the pandemic head on and focus on what medical professionals, other first responders, and scores of everyday people have been dealing with for many months now, the show has already taken on new heights of ripped-from-the-headlines drama. Now, Jesse Williams, who's played plastic surgeon Dr. Jackson Avery since Season 6, has told Entertainment Tonight that when the show returns, things are going to get even more emotional, noting:
It's pure madness. I've got to say, we have found a way to have really highly concentrated, dense episodes towards the middle of the season with a lot of this incredible combination of loss and joy and progress in these characters' lives. But when [we] come back, yeah, it's going to be fairly terrifying and exhilarating.
Wow. OK, I don't know how much more terrifying exhilaration I can stand from Grey's Anatomy, but I guess we'll find out in about a month. If you've kept up with the show, you'll know that Meredith, after going in and out of consciousness for much of the season so far, rallied in a big way for the winter finale. She wound up managing to get out of bed to help another patient, but then collapsed and had to be put on a ventilator, something that has, in real life, been a very bad sign for those trying to battle a diagnosis with the virus.
On top of that, the winter finale saw another local hospital hit capacity, so that now all new patients have to head to Grey Sloan. Opal, the sex trafficker from Season 16, is back after two girls were (finally) rescued from the grasp of one of her co-conspirators, and DeLuca and his sister are on her trail with results that might be less than pleasant for our heroes. Add to that everything that Meredith is going through, and, basically, all is not quiet on the western front. It's a big ol' mess, y'all. But, according to what Jesse Williams said about the spring premiere, the situation can definitely get worse.
And, I freely admit that hearing such news has me itching to retreat to my own beach-front happy place, just like Meredith. I don't even care if all I see are George, McDreamy and other characters from Grey's as opposed to real loved ones. Calgon! Take me away!
In all seriousness, even though it sounds like Grey's Anatomy is going to return with some very dramatic action, I doubt I'll be alone in eagerly watching to see how the characters will continue to find a bit of hope among the madness.
Grey's Anatomy returns to ABC on March 11, at 9 p.m. EST. For more on what to watch, check out our guide to early 2021 premieres.